Inspired by his experience as a member of an Irish fiddle band, Maple Grove High School orchestra director Matt Caron decided to further share his passion with his students. Creating an after-school Fiddle Club, Caron would teach them new tunes and styles to fiddle. Upon brainstorming new ways to encourage collaboration among students, the district orchestra teachers came up with a district-wide Fiddle Festival to blend the middle and high school students together. Read more about Osseo Fiddle Fest
Osseo resident Jesse Becker has always loved music, but when he went to the University of South Dakota on a full ride basketball scholarship, he never thought he would end up in a band. Becker joined Maiden Dixie as lead vocalist and guitarist five years ago. “We are considered country music, but we have a very diverse eclectic background,” he says. Their music contains elements of pop, rock and Americana. “We are kind of a melting pot of different things,” Becker says. Read more about Maiden Dixie Mania
Local folk trio Family Three had no intention of performing at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair. According to member Taylor Bongard, a friend secretly signed the group up for an audition, which they successfully passed. They went on to play—and take first place—on Sunday, September 6, at the State Fair Grandstand finals in front of a crowd of 7,000 people. “It was hands-down one of the coolest things we have ever been able to be a part of,” Bongard says. Read more about Family Three
Anna Shmidov describes her life as a dream come true. She came to Maple Grove from Russia in 1980 as a political refugee, along with her husband and two children, and brought a vast musical knowledge with her. Read more about Local Piano Teacher Anna Shmidov Hails from Russia
#StrongGirl: 20 Minute Workouts & Quick Meals to Keep you Lean, Trim & Powerful takes a fun approach to health and fitness. Trainer and fitness expert Ali Holman is a regular contributor on WCCO and KSTP’s Twin Cities Live. As a mom to two girls, ages 5 and 10, she wanted to write a book that caters to the whole family. Holman’s book, released on December 8, offers a selection of real-life tips, 20-minute workouts and easy-to-make recipes for busy families. Read more about January 2016: Read, Drink, Listen
Spark Music Studio uses new technology and genre variety in its music lessons. Employing classical, jazz, rock and pop, owner Nick Tucker teaches students ranging in age from 3 to 65.
He was also recently awarded Thumbtack’s Best of 2015 award for customer service and music services. Tucker says it’s all in the communication. “Students and parents are fully engaged and can see exactly what is being done,” he adds, “I try to be super responsive.” Congratulations, Nick!